Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 G VR II Lens (f/3.5-5.6)
This is an inexpensive, DX/APS-C (cropped-sensor) lens in the popular 18-55mm compact zoom range. It's 8 years old and usually sold as a kit-lens with Nikon's entry level DSLR's like the D3300, or it could have been bought for $250 USD. It replaced the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR lens and is both lighter and smaller but, according to Nikon, a hair better optically. The filter threads don't rotate on this newer model. Its maximum reproduction ratio of 0.3× is rather decent for a kit lens. It takes the HB-69 hood.
Autofocus is done by the AF-S motor which is mostly silent. It seems to focus very slowly because it does. There is no improvement here over the previous version. The auto/manual focus button is either autofocus or manual focus. There is no manual focus override via a simple turning of the manual focus collar. The little A/M switch has to be set to manual first. Manual focusing is very difficult because the throw is so short. The lens can be damaged if trying to manually focus with the focus switch set auto.
The Vibration Reduction (VR) is a nice added function making this inexpensive, slow lens into a decent hand-held performer, allowing one to get sharper shots at lower shutter speeds. Handheld shots at a tenth of a second are possible. The VR is no where as good as Nikon's high-end lenses.
Optically, this lens is quite good. Sharpness is every bit as good as the previous model: the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR. It is sharp throughout its zoom range. Diffraction has begun by f/8. Barrel distortion (1%) is obvious on the short end. With 0.5% barrel distortion at 24mm, it is gone by 35mm. Vignetting is minimal thanks to the smaller DX format.
There is a hint of color fringing only on the short end.
The bokeh is just okay. It's particularly busy in the first image below (f=35mm/4.5).
Infrared performance is fantastic which is to be expected of Nikon's modest consumer grade lenses. Infrared images are crystal clear.
Macro performance is excellent for a non-macro lens and is every bit as good as the older Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR lens. It is not as good as the macro-dedicated Nikon Micro Nikkor AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8 but it is good enough for a budding photographer to "explore" with.
This lens is most compact when locked and extends for both 18mm and 55mm. It is made entirely of plastic, including the mount. It feels solid in the hand and there is no zoom creep.
This is a G lens meaning that there is no aperture adjustment ring. But this should not present a problem on all Nikon DX bodies.
Overall, the mechanics of this lens is decent, and it's all in a very compact form factor.
- Focal length: 18-55mm
- Maximum aperture: f/3.5-5.6
- Minimum aperture: f/22-36
- Lens construction: 11 elements in 8 groups (1 aspherical lens element)
- Picture angle: 76°-28°50'
- Closest focusing distance: 0.28m/0.9ft (throughout the entire focal range)
- Maximum reproduction ratio: 1:3.2 (0.31×
- No. of diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded)
- Filter/attachment size: ø52mm
- Diameter × length (extension from lens mount): 59.5mm × 66mm/2.3 × 2.6 in.
- Weight Approximately: 195g/6.9oz.
- Price: $250 USD